Rep. Markey introduces Mobile Device Privacy Act (H.R. 6377)

Representative Markey is no stranger to mobile privacy issues. Last year, Rep. Markey asked the FTC to investigate the practices of the Carrier IQ software company as a possible unfair or deceptive act or practice.

On September 12, 2012, Rep. Markey, co-Chair of the Bi-Partisan Congressional Privacy Caucus, released H.R. 6377, “The Mobile Device Privacy Act.” The legislation would require companies to disclose to consumers the capability to monitor telephone usage, as well as require express consent of the consumer prior to monitoring.

“Just because a mobile device is hand held doesn’t mean it should hand over personal information to third parties without permission,” said Markey in a released statement.

World Social Media Legal

Gartner Predicts Huge Rise in Monitoring of Employees’ Social Media Use
PCWorld

New technologies and services are enabling the growth in employee monitoring, but companies will need to closely manage their monitoring efforts for ethical and legal issues, Andrew Walls, research vice president at Gartner, wrote in the report.

The Legal Ambiguities of Social Media
Human Resource Executive Online

Employers continue to look for guidance on issues related to the evolving use of social media by employees. Creating an appropriate policy remains difficult, but the authors offer some expert advice that may help.

Social Media Changing the Face of Criminal Justice
HispanicBusiness.com

The Virginia State Bar tracks ethical issues concerning how attorneys communicate by and glean evidence from social media, said James McCauley, ethics counsel for the state bar.

DISH® Announces Topic for 2012 “Best in Class” eDiscovery Legal Research
Sacramento Bee

This year, law students will be challenged to address the question of “Under what standard should a court subject an employee’s non-business personal computing activities (eg, social media, documents stored on a personal computer, and/or personal email)?

The Case for Facebook
The Atlantic

Consider this a skeptic’s guide to the bull case for the social network. Facebook just had modern history’s worst IPO and it’s down again today by some percentage that will be quoted endlessly. Yet Facebook is still the world’s largest social media platform.
The Atlantic

Religious freedom issues at heart of HHS lawsuits, legal scholars say
Catholic News Service

(CNS) — The mass media have done the public a disservice by consistently referring to health reform law regulations so narrowly as the “contraceptive mandate,” because it leads people to think the regulations are a matter of interest only to Catholics.

Firms expected to cyberstalk for security
ZDNet Australia

The research and advisory organisation recently published a report into conducting digital surveillance ethically and legally, and found that 60 per cent of corporations will be monitoring social media channels for security breaches and incidents.

Most Corporations Will Spy On Employees By 2015: Research
TechWeekEurope UK

The majority of corporations are expected to monitor their employees’ social media interaction by 2015, suggests research by Gartner, published today. This practice could be increasingly adopted to prevent security breaches and incidents.

Russia’s VKontakte delays IPO after Facebook debacle
Reuters

By John Bowker | MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russian social network VKontakte says it won’t risk going ahead with its planned initial public offering fearing a repeat of the botched Facebook float which left US regulators red-faced.

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ALERT: BEWARE OF SUSPICIOUS NOTICES REGARDING YOUR TRADEMARK APPLICATIONS & REGISTRATION

It seems that every few months my clients get a raft of notices from very “official” sounding business, like “United States Trademark Protection Agency” seeking payment for services that appear to be necessary to maintain a trademark application or registration. As technology improves speed and efficiency, more of these opportunists are appearing.

U.S. Trademark Applications & Registrations are Public Records.

Filing an application for U.S. trademark registration makes certain information publicly available in the  U.S. Trademark Office records.  Several companies have been scraping these records and generating “official looking” notices and even invoices to unsuspecting companies.  These notices appear strikingly similar to  governmental agency communications and direct you to pay fees for registration,  monitoring (keeping an eye out for applications similar to yours) and for filing with domestic or international lists, directories, etc.

MANY OF THESE ARE SCAMS.

Despite claims otherwise, the United States Trademark Protection Agency (USTPA) is NOT a governmental agency and the U.S. Trademark Office (USPTO) web site even showed a warning that the USTPA is NOT affiliated with the USPTO.

Some companies charge fees to be listed in their worldwide trademark registration directories. These are not official filings, their usefulness is limited and they have no legal effect.

Other companies hire non-legal administrators to do trademark filings without proper supervision or training. These companies can prove very costly due to filing problems. I hope you are not confused by such mailings. Often, if you are represented by counsel, the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office will not send mailings directly to you, they will be sent to your attorney of record.  While some of these companies offer legitimate services, you should seek advice from legal counsel before utilizing them. Some examples of these companies include the following:

  • Globus Edition S.L. in Spain
  • Trademark Renewal Service in Washington, D.C.
  • Company of Economic Publications Ltd. in Austria
  • Edition The Marks KFT in Hungary
  • United States Trademark Protection Agency located in Seattle, Washington
  • Institute of Commerce for Industry, Trade, and Commerce located in Switzerland
  • CPI (Company for Publications and Information Anstalt) in Liechtenstein (a phantom company which says it works with
  • The Publication of Brand Names of the International Economy – another phantom company)
  • IDM International Data Medium AnsbH in Liechtenstein
  • S.A.R.L. – Societe pour Publications et Information located in Austria
  • TMI Trademark Info Corporation located in Pearland, Texas
  • ZDR – Datenregister GmbH in Germany

Many of these organizations send notices that look like invoices. I suggest that you not make payments without first consulting your attorney.